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When you hear the word hypnotherapy, you think of the hypnosis you see in videos. This form of hypnosis is for entertainment. It is not comparable to hypnosis in psychotherapy. In this article you will read what hypnotherapy is, how it works and when it is appropriate to apply.

What is hypnotherapy?

In hypnotherapy you switch off your conscious thoughts to explore your subconscious mind undisturbed. You learn to recognize thoughts and feelings, while gaining new insights. It is certainly not the hypnosis which is used in videos for entertainment.


Therapeutic daydreams

During hypnotherapy, you reach a state of being that can be compared to daydreaming. You are focused on one thing. Other stimuli from your environment are hardly noticed. You enter a deep state of relaxation.


Have you ever been driving a car and suddenly ‘forgotten’ part of the route you were driving? You simply cannot remember driving that part. This is actually a kind of spontaneous hypnosis. This state of being is used during hypnotherapy.


Will I lose control over myself and my body during hypnosis?

During hypnosis, you are still in control of yourself. The therapist is not controlling your body and not able to make you do crazy things, the way you might have seen in videos. You decide what you do or don’t do at all times.


Is hypnotherapy right for me?

Hypnotherapy is mainly used to make subtle alterations to our thoughts and behaviors. It is used to treat a variety of symptoms, including:



How does hypnotherapy work?

During a hypnosis session, the therapist brings you into your subconscious mind through speech. This state of hypnosis is also called a trance. It brings your body and mind into a calm and relaxed state, in which you explore your subconscious. You learn to listen to the subconscious, without your conscious brain constantly distracting you. You gain new insights that you can use in your daily life.


How is this different from meditation?

Both in meditation and in hypnotherapy, you are in a different state of consciousness. You are observing, without judging your thoughts. Your conscious thoughts are turned off for a while. Yet there are also differences.


In meditation, you are consciously in the here and now. In hypnotherapy you are unconsciously in the here and now. You are in a deeper trance and contact the subconscious. You become more aware of the feelings and associations that are there. This is a good time to make changes.


Why hypnotherapy?

There is no clear evidence yet that hypnotherapy is an effective method for common mental health problems. Therefore, it is also not a first-choice treatment and is not included in current scientific guidelines.


However, there are studies that show interesting results with hypnosis. For example, hypnotherapy appears to be an effective method for the perception of symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome [1]. Hypnotherapy also appears to be effective in treating children with abdominal pain. Hypnosis can be used as an adjunct to psychotherapy for various psychological symptoms.


iPractice uses hypnosis only in addition to other effective method. Psychologists never use it as a full treatment.


Psychologist for hypnotherapy

A treatment starts with an introduction in which the psychologist examines whether hypnosis suits your needs. Together with your therapist you agree to the goal of your treatment and the type of treatment. You always choose what you want to work on. Are you curious about what hypnotherapy can do for you?

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    Do you have any questions? Call us at 085-1308900 or contact us online. Together we will see if hypnotherapy can be a solution for you.

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    At iPractice, you will work with 2 psychologists. Treatment consists of both online contact and regular consultation room sessions at one of iPractice’s locations. Or find out more information about the intake and treatment process at iPractice.

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    Our psychologists only give hypnosis as an addition to evidence-based treatments.

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    Hypnotherapy is in many cases not or partially reimbursed by your health insurance company as an alternative treatment. At iPractice, hypnosis is only given in addition to an evidence-based treatment that is often reimbursed by health insurance companies. See which health insurers reimburse our care.


How long does hypnotherapy take?

You discuss this with your psychologist and it depends on your goal.

Is hypnotherapy the same as EMDR?

Hypnotherapy is not the same as EMDR.

Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness, a type of trance. It uses relaxation techniques and imagination, similar to a daydream or fantasy.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, abbreviated to EMDR, is a therapy for people who continue to suffer from the effects of a shocking experience, such as an accident, sexual assault or an incident of violence. The therapist will ask you to think back to the event, including associated images, thoughts and feelings. First, this is done to gather more information about the traumatic experience. Then the processing process is initiated. The therapist will ask to recall the event again. But now this is done in conjunction with a distracting stimulus.

What if hypnotherapy doesn't work?

If hypnotherapy doesn’t work for you, you and your psychologist will review what treatment is better suited to your needs.

publish-icon Published - 11 Nov 2021


[1] Flik, C. E. et al. (2019). Efficacy of individual and group hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome (IMAGINE): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The lancet Gastroenterology & hepatology, 4(1), 20-31. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langas/article/PIIS2468-1253(18)30310-8/fulltext

As a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Simone das Dores has experience in hypnotic interventions that are a wonderful addition to existing therapies.
simone das dores ipractice psycholoog
Clinical Psychologist Simone das Dores

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